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Breast Milk May Not Help To Prevent Allergies

Dorathy Gass

We all know the health benefits that breast milk can provide infants and babies, and while it has been thought that it decreases the chance of allergies and asthma, a new study is saying this may not be the case after all.

Dr. Quindelyn Cook, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), led the research study which focused on lgE and breastfeeding. As the antibodies associated with allergies are lgE, these may play a ‘gate-keeper’ role by alerting the immune system through response to an antigen presence. That is, lgE allergic reactions can bring on sneezing, mucus, itching, tears, vomiting, and other triggers which are associated with allergies.

The research team analyzed 194 patients, which were referred to a pediatric allergy and immunology department within a large medical center, during the years of 2009 to 2013. The patients were between 4 to 18 years of age, and were provided skin prick test within their initial two appointments. The first outcome determined environmental allergies, while the second determined food allergies, atopic dermatitis, and asthma. Feed history during infancy was provided through a patient form.

Medical News Today reports that patients were placed into two groups, where 134 were breastfed, and 60 were formula fed. Each group had similar numbers as it related to environmental allergens, as well as food allergies, atopic dermatitis, and asthma results. In fact, there was no major difference when it came to their lgE antibodies, as it relates to those youngsters were were breastfed or formula fed.
Dr. Cook notes that both groups had similar numbers when it came to hay fever. Additionally, there were similar numbers around food allergies, eczema, and asthma.

While the team still encourages mothers to breastfeed, as breast milk has numerous health benefits, they also note a larger study is needed to determine if these results can apply to the greater population.

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